What is HIIT and why should I do it? – By Emily Smyth

The American Heart Association advises that 30 minutes of HIIT is equivalent to achieving 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise!

HIIT, also known as high intensity interval training, is a method of exercise which involves a period of time of high intensity exercise, followed by a rest period of lower intensity exercise.

HIIT has been shown to be an effective tool in 
 – Increasing cardiovascular fitness,
 – Increasing endurance,
 – Burning abdominal fat,
 – Building muscle and
 – Reducing blood pressure.

It is a time efficient and effective form of exercise which can be carried out in as little as 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. As we all know, free time is often a limiting factor when it comes to achieving the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. So why not achieve the same health goals in a reduced time?

InnerStrength of Bayside offers a fun and dynamic 30 minute HIIT Pilates reformer class. CLICK HERE to view our class timetable or for more information. To book, call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE!


Cabrini Hospital Brightways Lunch by Emily Smyth

I have always had a strong interest in helping women who are suffering with breast cancer. My interest was further realised in New Zealand where I worked hand in hand with women who provided rehabilitation and care to women with a recent cancer diagnosis. I saw the benefits of the Pinc and Steel Programs and decided it was an area of Physiotherapy which I wanted to focus on. I was delighted when I moved to Melbourne and started working with Luci Minogue who was the first Pinc and Steel Physio in Melbourne.

Last month we were delighted to be invited to be part of the Brightways Breast Cancer Luncheon. The Lunch was held in the beautiful Sandringham Yacht Club. We greeted the guests and let them know about ways that InnerStrength of Bayside helps those affected by Cancer. It was a great way to meet the different people involved in ensuring a high quality of life for women after a diagnosis. It really highlighted for me that ensuring high quality of life is not just a job for the multi-disciplinary teams but also for those who provide bras for women who have had mastectomies, those who sell sports clothes that allow easy prosthetic breast usage and those who provide wigs after hair loss from the chemotherapy. These seemingly small things give women the confidence to return to doing the sports and hobbies they love doing.

The lunch was held upstairs looking out over the sea. It was a fabulous room filled with people all coming together to support one cause. The day began with a very interesting talk from Dr Michelle White about debunking the myths associated with Cancer. It was fascinating to learn about the different theories on the internet about curing cancer. It was also an eye opening experience to learn that when you are feeling vulnerable it is better not to turn to ‘Dr Google’ or you may end up eating mounds of asparagus (one of the myths which Dr White debunked as a cure for Cancer). At the end of her speech Dr White spent some time discussing what lifestyle factors we know can help with recovery. Exercise was the number one lifestyle factor Dr White spoke about. She discussed how more and more Doctors and Nurses are encouraging their patients to exercise before, during and after a cancer diagnosis. Dr White discussed recent research that shows a reduction in mortality and re-occurrence rates by up to 40% with exercise. It is so great to see a shift in thinking from rest to activity as an aid in recovery.

After lunch there was a Q and A with Psychologist Jane Fletcher and two Cancer patients who discussed their experiences. It was inspiring to hear their stories and how they managed their symptoms. One of the ladies spoke about her love of exercise and how it is helping her through her treatment. She spoke about how she feels it is reducing her side effects from the Chemotherapy but also as a management for her stress. Cancer can be very stressful with days full of medical appointments and tests. Exercise gave her an outlet which she could control and manage.

Overall the day was a great day full of delicious food and inspirational people. It was wonderful to meet so many people who feel so passionately about helping women. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I look forward to the next Brightways event.

Don’t forget to register for our Move Beyond Cancer 2 hour Pilates/Yoga Challenge and Wellness Seminar on November 18th to help fund someone with financial through the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs. Tickets are $35 each. For more information or to register, please email Luci at physio@innerstrengthbayside.com.au.


InnerStrength of Bayside invites you to register for our


to raise money for The Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation

 This event aims to increase awareness of Cancer Rehabilitation in Melbourne and to ensure that more cancer patients get access to our much needed Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation programs.



followed by a

 Wellness Seminar

Featuring talks by the following

Robyn Vincent, Personal Trainer – “The Benefits of Targeted Exercise”

Romy Norich, Balance View Trainer –  “Effortless Meditation”

Georgie Collinson, Naturopath and Nutritionist– “Nourishing Your Body for Happy, Healthy Living”

Date: Saturday 18th November

Time: Pilates/Yoga class – 1.15pm

Wellness Seminar – 4-6pm

Location: Prest Room, Wesley College, 5 Gladstone Pde, Elsternwick

Cost: $35

Light refreshments provided.

We are hoping to do the Pilates & Yoga class outside so please remember to bring along sunscreen and a drink bottle.

We also ask for all of our Pilates/Yoga class participants to fundraise through our Everyday Hero page.


All proceeds will help to fund women or men through the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs.

There will be raffles and a silent auction throughout the afternoon.

Spaces are limited! To register please email Luci at physio@innerstrengthbayside.com.au






Tummy Muscle Separation By Lara Syme


How do celebrities manage to walk out from the hospital a few hours after giving birth, with a flat stomach and in stilettos? As someone who is well studied in the anatomical and physiological process of pregnancy and birth – I just don’t get it!


I tend to see the other end of the spectrum. Often I see women who fight an uphill battle against the hormone Relaxin, right from the peak of that 12 week surge.


And a fair number of my patients either notice their tummy muscles separating as their bump grows, or they are diagnosed as having a “DRAM” after giving birth. A 2016 study of 300 first time pregnancies found that 60% of the subjects had tummy muscle separation 6 weeks after giving birth.


In most cases, this separation diminishes with time and never causes any problems. Larger separations can however, require specialized exercises, bracing and activity modification to optimise the degree of improvement experienced by the patient.


At InnerStrength of Bayside we can do a thorough assessment of your tummy muscles and can create an exercise program appropriate to your needs.

To make an appointment either call us on 85554099 or book online at www.innerstrengthbayside.com.au










Groin and Hip Pain by Emily Smyth

Groin and hip pain are common problems we see at InnerStrength of Bayside, whether it is an acute groin sprain from sport or chronic hip pain that has gradually come on over time. There are many different structures that may be causing hip pain, such as a muscle strain of the inner thigh muscles (adductors) to Hip Impingement. The key to an accurate diagnosis is your Physio having a good knowledge of the anatomy surrounding the hip and then doing a thorough assessment.

Inner thigh/groin pain (adductor pain) is an injury we would see relatively often in the clinic. There are a two key risk factors associated with adductor pain; a reduction in strength (adductors and hamstrings) in one leg and a reduction of hip rotation movement. These factors can pre-dispose a person to an injury in the hip or groin musculature. A strong clinical examination by your Physio is important. Research suggests that a clinical examination is sufficient to diagnose muscular hip pain and imaging such as an ultrasound is not warranted in the initial stages.

Diagnosing Hip Impingement requires a good Physio assessment and often an X-ray as well. Patients may complain of hip pain which has been present for more than three months and is often described as “wrapping around the hip”. In the clinic your Physio will do some special tests of your hip to see if they reproduce pain or your joint is tight.

Rehabilitation of hip pain is important to prevent reoccurrence. The key to a thorough rehabilitation is to strengthen any weak muscles around the hip, including your core, gluteals, quadriceps and calf muscles. In the initial stages treatment goals are to reduce pain, increase range of motion and improve strength. We will then progress onto functional lower limb strength. This is important in sports people or highly active people. It incorporates a graded return to sports/training with targeting hip muscle strength training

If you experience hip pain please contact us at InnerStrength of Bayside to book into a Physiotherapy Assessement. CLICK HERE to book online.


Calf Pain in Runners by Luci Minogue

Calf pain is a common complaint in runners. If your pain has come on gradually and is spread out over the muscle it may be an overuse injury, whereby pain is caused by fatigue in the muscle, as opposed to a sudden onset of pain during push off in running which may be an acute muscle tear. This overuse injury is called Biomechanical Overload Syndrome and is an injury most commonly seen in deconditioned runners between 40-60 years of age. Other risk factors may include a change in training load, muscle weakness, previous calf injury, stress or lack of sleep.

Assessment by your Physio will include

  • Observation of your posture and calf muscle.
  • Muscle strength testing such as how many calf raises you can do before you experience pain or fatigue.
  • Strength testing of other leg muscles.
  • Ankle movement.
  • Palpation (a feel) of the calf muscle.

Treatment for calf muscle overload is focused on increasing the capacity of the muscle to handle the load you are putting on it during running. It may also include modification to your training schedule and running technique so you are not aggravating your pain.

If you have calf pain and would like to book a Physiotherapy Assessment with one of our Physios please contact InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE.

How do you take care of YOU while undergoing cancer treatment?

As Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists, Luci and Emily have met many patients and their loved ones at a very stressful and uncertain time.  Taking the best possible care of yourself while undergoing cancer treatment can help you cope and feel better during each stage of treatment and once the treatments are completed.

Here are 10 tips we recommend to help people going through cancer treatment:

1) Listen to your medical team, not Dr Google. Every single person’s cancer is different — even those diagnosed as the same type and stage. People respond very differently to treatment and need individualised rehabilitation to suit them. Burning mental cycles by speculating and comparing your situation to others is a waste of time and energy.

2) See a certified Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapist EARLY to get advice on how to maximise your recovery and what you can do to prepare yourself for upcoming treatment. It is empowering to be proactive and take control of the things you CAN control.

Know how to help yourself.

3) Learn to ask for and accept help; you can pay it forward later. A cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist will guide you on what activities, house work or exercise you can safely do and what you should ask for help with while your body is recovering from surgery or during treatment.

Often we put ourselves last, but this is a time to look after yourself.

4) Get pain, swelling, pins and needles, signs of infection and stiffness assessed early. Addressing signs and symptoms early can save a lot of time and money later, improve your recovery time and prevent long-term problems.

5) Learn to breathe properly. It takes a huge amount of emotional energy to cope with a cancer diagnosis. This often disrupts normal breathing patterns, which can in turn make it more difficult to relax, sleep well and cope with treatment. A cancer rehabilitation or breathing works physio can teach you how to breathe better again.

6) Avoid inactivity- move your body. Any kind of physical activity can be helpful, even if it isn’t moderate or vigorous intensity. Short sessions help. If you don’t have the time or energy for a long exercise session, go for shorter periods. The health benefits of several short, 10-minute segments are similar to those of one longer exercise session. The type, intensity and duration of exercise may need to change from what you have previously done and a cancer rehabilitation physiotherapist can design a safe and effective exercise prescription for you to do during treatment.

7) Be proactive in your rehabilitation, it can help reduce the short and long term side effects of treatment. For example, by doing appropriate stretches throughout your radiation therapy, you can help reduce the impact on your function and range of motion.

e.g. radiation in the arm pit region for breast cancer will affect the skin and structures under the arm. Stretches will make it less likely to get issues with the arm such as tightness and weakness.

8) Make YOU a priority, probably for the first time in your life. Self-care is not selfish or a luxury; it’s a necessity for you right now. Save your energy for activities that will help your body heal and feel better.

9) Set your intentions on the future.  Keep a journal. Plan for the future and talk out loud about the things you’re going to do after treatment. It is important to look forward.

10) Take time to enjoy at least something every day and stay connected to friends and family that can help you do this.

InnerStrength of Bayside Physiotherapists Luci Minogue and Emily Smyth are both Certified Pinc Cancer Rehabilitation Physiotherapists. For more information on the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs, please click here.

Source: www.pincandsteel.com/about-pinc-and-steel/lou-s-blog-2/how-do-you-take-care-of-you-while-undergoing-cancer-treatment/


Meet our June work experience student – Caitlyn!

Hi, my name is Caitlyn and I have spent the past 4 days at InnerStrength of Bayside. I have had an amazing experience here at InnerStrength. As I entered through the doors each day, all the employees were incredibly nice and welcoming, especially my supervisor, Emily. Starting off I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect, however Emily was really a blessing because she treated me well and always made sure I was occupied with something interesting to do. I had the opportunity to observe patients undergoing treatment as well as the techniques used for Physiotherapy and the use of Pilates equipment. Initially I found myself hesitant to ask questions, but Emily made me feel at ease as she continued to explain details of her patients’ injuries and recovery plans as well as asking if I had any questions. Emily also helped me understand all the ‘physio lingo’, which deepened my knowledge.

During my work experience at InnerStrength I have learnt many things, such as, what is required to help rehabilitate injuries, nerves and muscles within the body and that everyone has a story, plus much more!

Highlight of my week: I have thoroughly enjoyed learning how people recover from serious injuries. I met a man named Trent who tragically got hit by a car around 4-5 months ago. He is so positive and motivated to recover successfully. Trent was kind enough to let me sit in on his sessions and it was awesome! I really learnt a lot from his sessions; how his life is slowly being put back together and how he is rehabilitating since his accident. He has really bounced back and it’s inspiring to see!

I’d like to thank everyone at InnerStrength of Bayside for the amazing experience I’ve had this past week, especially Emily for being a fantastic supervisor and showing me the ins & outs of the profession.


Winter is the Loveliest Time to Swim Outdoors. By Lara Syme.


As I bought my entry ticket from a cold looking lady behind the counter, who was wearing a big puffer jacket and gloves, I considered going home back to my warm bed! But then I looked at the sign on the wall, updated just an hour ago, clearly stating that the outside pool is 27.7 Degrees Celsius. I pushed through the gate, and from there habit kicked in. I have the place I always leave my bag, I wear my thongs right up to the edge and by that point there is no turning back. I inch my way down the ladder rungs and smile at the other Swimmers. We all smile in winter, because it is so much warmer in the pool than it is outside in the cold solstice depths of Melbourne’s morning. We also smile because we have a lane to ourselves! It seems ludicrous that such phenomenal facilities can be subsidised by our city council! Where else in the world could you swim in a public 50 m pool within a few kilometers of the CBD for $6.50!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics have released a study of Australian’s participation in sport                                    ( http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4177.0 ). They found that participation “in all months of the year” in jogging and running (73%) and weight training (70%) was particularly high, as was participation in aerobics, fitness and gym activities (65%) and cycling (66%). But swimming was the activity that people were least likely to have participated in throughout the year (39%).

As a Physio I find Swimming is a sport that I am often suggesting to Patients who are eager to stay active whilst carrying a lower limb injury or an injury that is sensitive to load. And I find it is a polarising suggestion, it is either snapped up with enthusiasm and discussions on stroke and distance or out rightly rejected. When it is rejected I need to sometimes get creative with my exercise suggestions and Physiotherapist lead Pilates often gets a mention, because we individually create a program for each of our patients according to their needs and we are good at not aggravating injuries.

But for people who are not carrying an injury, my best advice is to mix it up. Differing the type of exercise you do reduces the chances of developing overuse injuries and often leaves you with more functionally useful strength. Take every opportunity that presents to move your body, every way, every day!

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